You are on page 1of 17

Life from Death

(John 19:1-29)

I. Introduction.
A. Orientation.
Weve been looking at
What Jesus was willing
To go through for us,
So that we might be reconciled to God
So that we,
Who deserve nothing other
Than to suffer forever in hell forever
For our rebellion against God,
Might be forgiven,
Adopted into His family,
And made the heirs of His kingdom
Purely by His grace.

What did Jesus do for us?

He allowed Himself to be arrested,
To be put on trial by His own people,
To be ridiculed, rejected and abused,
To be handed over to the Romans,
To be scourged, mocked, condemned,
And to be nailed to a cross;
Not only was He symbolically cursed
By being hung on a tree,
He really was cursed
When our sins were laid on Him

When He became guilty

And suffered in our place
Not just the pain
Of the scourging, the beating, and the crucifixion,
But the wrath of His Father
For the sins we committed.
And finally, when He had suffered enough,
He bowed His head
And gave up His life for us,
So that our lives might be spared.

He did these things willingly:

He could have prevented His arrest
He could have walked away
As He had on a previous occasion;
He could have called
Twelve legions of angels
To come to His rescue;
But He didnt.
He submitted to this mistreatment
Because it was the only way
He could save us.

Even on the cross,

He could have held onto His life
For a little while longer,
But He didnt
He willingly surrendered it for us;

He bowed and gave up His soul for us.

When the soldiers came to break His legs
So He wouldnt be on the cross during the Sabbath,
They found He was already dead.
To make sure,
One of the soldiers
Thrust his spear into His side
All the way into His heart.
Jesus didnt hold onto His life,
But laid it down for us.

Finally, we saw that He was buried for us.

Joseph came and asked Pilate for His body,
And with Nicodemus,
Prepared Him for burial;
And because the Sabbath was near,
They laid Him in the tomb
Joseph had prepared for himself,
To fulfill Isaiah 53:9, His grave was assigned with wicked men, yet He was with a
rich man in His death, because He had done no violence, nor was there any
deceit in His mouth.
The Prince of Life was now under the power of death
A death He didnt deserve, but we did
So that He might set us free from death
Once and for all.

B. Preview.
This morning,
Were reminded that death wasnt the end

Jesus didnt remain in the tomb,

But on the third day
His spirit His human soul
Returned to His body,
And He rose again to life.

The resurrection is important for several reasons:

1. It proves Jesus is who He said He is:
He is the Son of God,
The Messiah,
The One who gives life.
Only God can predict the future.
Only God can raise Himself from the dead.
Thats what Jesus did.

2. It proves that He carried away our sins.

It was our sins that nailed Him to the cross,
That demanded His death,
That put Him in the grave.
The resurrection proves
That He really paid for our sins.
Once they were atoned for,
Death could no longer hold Him.
The resurrection is Gods declaration
That Jesus paid for our sins in full.

3. As we read earlier in 1 Corinthians,

Jesus resurrection also proves

That we are forgiven:

If Jesus hadnt risen,
That would mean our sins hadnt been paid for
We would still have to pay for them,
We would still be faced with hell.
But the fact He rose
Means they have been dealt with
And we are free.

4. Finally, because Jesus has risen

We also will rise.
Everything He did, He did for us.
Everything He went through,
He went through for us.
Because His body was raised,
Ours will also be raised on the final day.
We have the hope of a complete redemption
Not only of our souls,
But also of our bodies
Because of Jesus resurrection.

And so lets look at four things from this passage:

1. The witnesses to the empty tomb.
2. The witnesses to the resurrection.
3. The commission to share the resurrection.
4. And the power to proclaim the resurrection.

II. Sermon.
A. How do we know Jesus rose from the dead?

How do we know that He conquered death

Not only for Himself,
But for us as well?
First, we see the witnesses to the empty tomb.

1. The first of these witnesses was Mary Magdalene.

She was the first to go back to the tomb
Early in the morning following the Sabbath.
When she came, she found the stone had been rolled away
And that the tomb was empty (v. 1).

Why did she come?

Was it because she was expecting
The tomb would be empty?
Was it to prove that Jesus had risen from the dead?
Its clear from what she says next
That she still thought He was dead.
We read in verse 2, So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other
disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, They have taken away the
Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.
She thought someone had taken His body
Whether friends or enemies she didnt know.
She hadnt gone to the tomb
Because she thought He had risen.
But because she loved Him and
From what we see in the other Gospels
Wanted to anoint Him further for burial.

2. When Peter and John heard what she said,

They didnt know what to think of it either

And werent sure whether or not to believe her,
So they quickly ran to the tomb (v. 3).
John got there first (v. 4)
Likely because he was younger and faster.
But because he was more reserved than Peter,
He only stood at the entrance and looked in (v. 5).
When Peter arrived,
He went right in,
And saw the linen wrappings (v. 6)
And the face-cloth rolled up
And laid aside neatly (v. 7).
We dont know what condition the wrappings were in
Whether they were unwound,
Or whether they were intact
But the fact that the face-cloth
Was neatly rolled and laid aside
Shows that Jesus didnt suddenly rise
And quickly exit the tomb
He did so in a very calm and deliberate way.

Finally, John entered the tomb,

And seeing what Peter saw,
He believed (v. 8)
Not that Jesus had risen from the dead,
But that Mary had told the truth
The tomb was empty.

We know this because of verse 9,

For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from
the dead.
Even though Jesus had told them
He would rise again the third day,
They didnt seem to understand what He meant.

After they were sure what Mary said was true,

They left the tomb and went back to their homes (v. 10).

3. But Mary had followed them.

And after they were gone,
She stood outside the tomb weeping,
And as she cried, she stooped and looked in (v. 11)
And saw two angels dressed in white,
Sitting at the head and at the feet
Of where Jesus had been laying (v. 12).
And they said to her, Woman, why are you weeping? She said to them,
Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have
laid Him (v. 13).
Notice again, that Mary didnt believe Jesus had risen,
But that someone had taken His body away.

We need to be careful not to criticize them too severely:

How many times does the Lord have to show us something in His Word, before
we understand?
How many times does He need to teach us the same lessons,
Only to have to teach us again?
How many times do we doubt what He says?
This is one of our greatest weaknesses
A weakness well likely have to face

Until we go home to heaven.

One of the things the Lord wants to teach us
Is to take His Word at face value
To believe what He says
And then respond accordingly:
His promises are meant to encourage us
And to give us the strength to do
What He calls us to do.
So lets be encouraged to study His Word,
To believe what it says,
And then move forward in our service for Him.

B. Second, we see the witnesses to the resurrected Christ.

1. Although it isnt mentioned here,
In the other Gospels we see
That the angels who were there
Told Mary that she shouldnt be seeking
One who is alive among the dead
Jesus had risen, just as He said.
Here were two witnesses to the resurrection
As our Lord tells us,
By the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed (Matt.
And you couldnt ask for more trustworthy witnesses
Than that of the holy angels.

2. Mary didnt have long to wait

Before what they said was confirmed.

After she had spoken with the angels

She turned around and saw Jesus standing there,
Though she couldnt tell at first it was Him
Likely because her eyes were blurred from her tears (v. 14).

Jesus asked her why she was weeping,

And who it was she was seeking.
She thought He might have been the gardener,
And that He might have taken Jesus body away,
And so she asked Him, Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you
have laid Him, and I will take Him away (v. 15).

When she had said this, we read in verse 16,

Jesus said to her, Mary! She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, Rabboni!
(which means, Teacher),
And then she held on to Him
As though she would never let go.

What it would be like

To lose someone you loved
More than anyone else in the world,
And then to see that person alive again?
You would want to do what Mary did here:
Hold onto them forever and never let them go.

But Mary couldnt do so

Jesus told her she had to let go for now:
He had yet to ascend
One day she would be with Him,
And would be able to hold onto Him

But now was not the time.

He also had something for her to do:

To go and tell His disciples
That He was alive
And that He would ascend,
And thats what she did:
We read in verse 18, Mary Magdalene came, announcing to the disciples, I
have seen the Lord, and that He had said these things to her.

But notice to whom He would ascend:

He says, I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God
(v. 17).
Now that His work was complete,
Their relationship with the Father was secure.
Because His work is complete,
Ours is as well,
If were trusting Him this morning.

Notice something else here thats interesting:

Mary had the privilege of being the first one to see the risen Lord.
Why was that?
Because she was the first to the tomb;
Because she remained at the tomb,
While the others went back to their homes.
She was one who had been forgiven much,
And so she was the one who loved much,
And loving the Lord as much as she did,
She was the one who was honored to see Him first.

Our love to the Lord

Can only be measured by our devotion to Him
By how much we are committed to Him
And He will reward that love.

3. Jesus also appeared to ten of His disciples later that day.

Judas was dead
He had earlier left
And committed suicide
After betraying Jesus to the Jewish leaders
And Thomas was absent.

The rest of the disciples were hiding

For fear of the Jews (v. 19).
But while the doors were shut,
Jesus suddenly appeared
And said, Peace be with you. And when He had said this, He showed them
both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the
Lord (vv. 19-20).
He granted them His peace
To comfort them in their fears,
And He showed them His hands and side
To prove to them He was who He claimed to be.
Then the disciples believed
And they rejoiced to see Him alive:
They knew now that their sins were forgiven.

When the disciples later saw Thomas

And told him what had happened,
He didnt believe.

He said, Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger
into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe
(v. 25).
Sadly, Thomas had to wait another week before he would see him.

But eight days later,

Which would again be the first day of the week
By Jewish reckoning,
The disciples were together again,
This time with Thomas.
Jesus again came and gave them His greeting of peace (v. 26).
Then He said to Thomas, Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and
reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but
believing (v. 27).

Notice three things:

First, that Jesus was setting apart
The day of His resurrection
By His appearances
To be His particular day
And the day He would have His people
To meet together to worship Him.

Second, Jesus knew what Thomas had said,

Even though He wasnt there when Thomas said it
He knows our every thought.

And third, He was concerned that Thomas believe

And so He appeared again
To prove to Thomas that He had risen.

And Thomas did believe:

He answered Him, My Lord and my God! (v. 28).
He not only believed He was alive,
But that Jesus was in fact
The One He claimed to be: God in our nature.

Jesus said to him, Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are
they who did not see, and yet believed (v. 29).
Jesus had earlier commended Nathaniel
For believing He was the Messiah
Purely on the basis of His statement
That He had seen him under the fig tree (1:49).
Thomas had seen much more,
But wouldnt believe until He had seen it for himself
The same was true, by the way, of the other disciples.

But Jesus says, Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.
That is the way we received Him.
We cant see as Thomas and the disciples saw.
We have to depend on the eyewitness testimonies
The Lord has given us.
But through them, we have seen Him.
And because we do,
Jesus says we are blessed
We are blessed because He has given us
His Spirit to open our eyes,
And we are blessed because having done so
We are now safe.

If you havent believed on the Lord Jesus,

Ask Him now to reveal Himself to you.

C. Third, we see the commission to share the resurrection.

Weve seen how important the resurrection is,
And so why the Lord made sure there were so many witnesses to it.
But equally important to our Lord
Is that this message be shared with others.
We read in verse 21, So Jesus said to them again, Peace be with you; as the
Father has sent Me, I also send you.

Here is an earlier giving of the Great Commission

A prelude to the final version
He will give just before He ascends
To take this message
That He has overcome death,
And that all who trust in Him
Will overcome death in Him
To the world.

This, as we know, is what He wants us to do.

We are to point others
To the eyewitness accounts in Scripture
To the Gospels
In the hopes that the Lord will also open their eyes,
As He, in His mercy, has done for us.

D. Finally, we see the power to proclaim the resurrection.

We read in verses 22, And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to
them, Receive the Holy Spirit.

We dont know exactly what Jesus was doing here

Was this a partial giving of the Spirit?
Was this a promise of the great outpouring
Of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost?
But we do know this is the source of power
The Lord has provided to give us the strength we need
To carry out His commission: His Holy Spirit.

We need to pray daily

That the Lord would grant this power to us
And to all His people
That we might effectively bring His Gospel to others.
If we try to do it in our own strength,
We will fail;
But if we do it in His,
We will succeed.

Jesus goes on to tell His disciples

That they can tell whoever receives Him
That their sins are forgiven;
But that whoever rejects Him,
That their sins are not forgiven.
He says in verse 23, If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven
them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.
This is basically the same thing Jesus says in 16:16, He who has believed and has
been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
He wasnt giving them the authority to forgive sins,
But to declare what the state of their sins were
On the basis of their acceptance or rejection of the Gospel.

As we go out to share the Gospel with others,

We are authorized to do the same,
Based on their acceptance or rejection of the Gospel.

As we come now to the Table

To remember the death of our Lord,
And as we think about His resurrection
On this: the day of His resurrection,
May He again assure us
If we have believed
That our sins are forgiven
And may He give us more of His power
That we might be witnesses of His resurrection.